Silver Shadow Corniche Convertible

The Silver Shadow Corniche Convertible struck a beautiful balance as it was simultaneously posh, practical and a pleasure to drive.

By the mid-1960s, the social climate was beginning to change, and overt exhibitions of material prosperity were no longer in vogue — and that included vehicles. Case in point, music legend John Lennon made a statement by having his 1965 Phantom V painted in a fanciful kaleidoscope of colors that paid homage to the Romani, a European nomadic culture. In recognition of the decreasing market for over-the-top transportation, Rolls-Royce released the Silver Shadow.

“For the first time in the history of Rolls-Royce, most of its customers didn’t want a driver," explains Austin, executive director of the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club. “The challenge was to come out with a car that had status but was smaller — by Rolls-Royce standards — since it would be owner-driven. By 1972, the marque wanted to make the model more fun and exciting. That was the inspiration for the Corniche Convertible."

The Silver Shadow Corniche Convertible struck a beautiful balance as it was simultaneously posh, practical and a pleasure to drive. “It’s a car for those who enjoy the high life without ever reaching overstatement," says Taylor. “The sublimely controlled rear haunch line inspired the Dawn and gives a subtle sense of virility."

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Published November 30, 2017
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